When I had my Erin Condren Life Planner giveaway last month, a reader commented to ask me how I use my planner to fit workouts into my schedule. I thought this was an interesting question because I’d never considered the fact that my method might be different from someone else’s method. I’ve become very protective of my time since I started blogging. I probably spend about 10 hours per week planning, drafting, publishing, and sharing posts. That doesn’t include the time I spend working out and attending events that I share with readers. I’m the first to say that I choose to be busy. I choose to take advantage of the endless opportunities New York has to offer. The best way for me to do that is to effectively manage my time, which is why my Life Planner is so important. There’s something about a written vs. digital planner that helps me keep my mind around what’s going on in a given week.
People have asked me how I find the time to blog and to train for races while also working full-time and having a social life. I don’t find the time. I make each of these things a priority that must somehow fit into my schedule. The open Morning, Day, and Night boxes in the Life Planner format really help me fit all those pieces together. First, I know that Monday-Friday from 9am-6pm, I will always be at work. I use the Day box to record the hours I spend working on various clients or to remind myself of due dates. That leaves the Morning (6am-9am) and Night (6pm-9pm) boxes for events, workouts, errands, etc. Those pieces of the puzzle are constantly changing in all of our lives. I rarely have a typical day. To better explain how I plan for one week (Monday-Sunday), let’s look at these timeframes. Consider this week (August 18-24) as an example.
Two+ Weeks Out — Anything from trips (like my race in October) to events (like a new studio opening) are recorded on the appropriate date as I find out about them. This holds significant dates or times far in advance. Something we all do.
One Week Out — At this point, I start to plan my training schedule for the following week. I do it one week in advance because I schedule my cross training workouts through ClassPass, which opens registration on Monday for the following Monday, and so on. Since classes with my favorite instructors fill up fast, I schedule cross training before I schedule runs. In general, I think of my training week as a deck of seven cards. I have three runs, two cross training classes, one wild card workout, and one rest day. I can play those cards on any day, as long as my runs are spread throughout the week, with my longest run being on the weekend. As I register for classes, I add them to my planner, making sure they don’t conflict with other plans. This week, I’m taking three classes–strength, barre, and yoga.
The Weekend Before — Once I’ve had a chance to schedule all of my cross training classes, I look for the days that I have left. At this point, I typically choose which day will be a rest day and write “No Workout” next to that date. I think rest is extremely important. Next, I schedule my three runs and decide when I will run which distances. The great thing about running is that it doesn’t have to happen at a scheduled time. If my day is otherwise free, I can choose whether to run before or after work. This week, I’m running 3mi, 4.5mi, and 8mi.
During the Week — Finally, it’s important to be flexible. I change my schedule all the time. Having it laid out in advance makes it easy to move around the puzzle pieces. For example, if I’m running tomorrow and my friends want to grab dinner, I’ll go to sleep early and run before work. Or if I’m not excited about the class I have scheduled for Thursday, I can cancel it and schedule a different one the day before. I try to avoid making myself feel like I have to do certain things because they’re in my planner. As long as I can arrange an acceptable alternative, it’s okay to make a change.
This process might seem intense to some of you, but it’s become second nature to me. It’s actually so natural at this point that it was tricky to break down in a way that would make sense to share. How do you schedule your workouts? Is it at all like my method? Comment to share!